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BY YONE NOGUCHI
Seen and Unseen.
The Voice of the Valley.
From the Eastern Sea.
Lafcadio Hearn in Japan.
The Spirit of Japanese Poetry.
The Spirit of Japanese Art.
The Story of Yone Noguchi.
Ten Noh Plays.
The Four Seas Company
^. HARVARD COLLEGE UBRARY
■^>^ ^^^tl.ii *'^R'S GRAY FUtit>
\r Copyright, ipgo, by
The Four Seas Company
The Four Seas Prese
Boston, Mass., U. S. A.
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
The word epigram is not right word (and there's
no right word at all) for Hokku, the seventeen
syllable poem of Japan, just as overcoat is not
the word for our haori. "That is good/' I ex-
claimed in spite of myself, when I found this
comparison. We know that haori is more, or
less, according to your attitude, than the overcoat
of Western garb which rises and falls with prac-
tical service; when I say more, I mean that our
Japanese haori is unlike the western overcoat,
a piece of art and besides, a symbol of rite, as
its usefulness appears often when it means prac-
tically nothing. If I rightly understand the word
epigram, it is or at least looks to have one object,
like that overcoat of practical use, to express
something, a Cathay of thought or not, before
itself; its beauty, if it has any, is like that of a
netsuke or okimono carved in ivory or wood,
decorative at the best. But what our Hokku
aims at is, like the haori of silk or crepe, a use-
fulness of uselessness, not what it expresses but
how it expresses itself spiritually; its real value
is not in its physical directness but in its psycho-
logical indirectness. To use a simile, it is like
a dew upon lotus leaves of green, or under maple
leaves of red, which although it is nothing but a
trifling drop of water, shines, glitters and
sparkles now pearl-white, then amethyst-blue,
again ruby-red according to the time of day and
situation; better still to say, this Hokku is like
a spider-thread laden with the white summer
dews, swaying among the branches of a tree like
an often invisible ghost in air, on the perfect
balance; that sway indeed, not the thread itself,
is the beauty of our seventeen syllable poem.
I can not forget Mrs. N. S. who came to see
me at the poppy-covered mountainside of Cali-
fornia one morning, now almost seventeen years
ago; what I cannot forget chiefly about that
morning is her story that she made a roundabout
way in entering into my garden as the little
proper path had been blocked by a spider-net
thick with diamonds. I exclaimed, then, as I do
often today, "Such a dear sweet soul (that could
not dare break that silvery thread) would be the
very soul who will appreciate our Hokku."
I confess that I secretly desired to become a
Hokku poet in my younger days, that is now
twenty years ago, and I used to put the Hokku
collection of Basho or Buson with Spencer's
Education in the same drawer of my desk ; what
did Spencer mean, you might wonder, for a boy
of sixteen or seventeen? I myself wonder today
about it when I look back on it; but it was the
younger day of new Japan when even we boys
thought to educate others before being educated
ourselves (there was Spencer's Education), and
we wished to swallow all the Western wisdom
and philosophy, Spencer or Darwin or what else,
at a gulp. I used to pass through Shiba Park
famous for the Sleeping Houses of the Feudal
Princes and also for the pine forest towering
over the mortality and age, towards my school
at Mita, whither today I turn my steps again
to tell the Japanese students about the English
poets bom in the golden clime, or other
clime; and I often looked up with irresistible
longing of heart, to a little cottage on a hill
in this sacred park where Yeiki Kikakudo,
the descendant of the famous Hokku poet
Kikaku in poetical lineage, used to live in
his seventieth year. I cannot recollect now ex-
actly how I happened to call on him one night
except from my impulse and determination that
my meeting with him was thought necessary for
my poetical development; it was the night of
MeigetsUf the full moon of September, when
many wanderers like myself, moths restless after
soul's sensation, could be seen in the park
through the shadows of trees. The little house,
I mean that of Master Yeiki, so small that it
might be comfortably put in any ordinary-sized
Western drawing-room, was deadly silent with
no light lighted ; I thought at once that it was the
poet's beautiful consideration towards the moon
whose heavy light, not being disturbed by any
earthly lamp, might thus have full sway. I met
thie old poet sitting on the step under the golden
shower of the light, when I climbed up to his
house, he led me within the house where the
shoji doors all open welcomed the moon with
old-fashioned hospitality. Indeed, that should
be the way to treat the celestial guest ; when you
observe how the Japanese moonlight crawls in
with its fairy-like golden steps, you will wonder
how humanized it is here. We two, young and
old, sat silent, leaving all the talk to the breezes
which carried down the moon's autumnal mes-
sage; the light fell on the hanging at the tokono-
ma whereon I read the following Hokku poem:
Autumn's full moon:
Lo, the shadows of a pine tree
Upon the mats!
Really it was my first opportunity to observe the
full beauty of the light and shadow, more the
beauty of the shadow in fact far more luminous
than the light itself, with such a decorativeness,
particularly when it stamped the dustless mats
as a dragon-shaped, ageless pine tree; I thanked
Kikaku, the author of the above lines, for giving
me just the point to find the natural beauty, on
which my imagination should have play enough.
I bowed to the Poet Yeiki for good-night, and
thanked him for the most interesting talk, al-
though we had spoken scarcely a word, but I
was perfectly tickled in delight as already then
the old story of Emerson and Carlyle who had
a happy chat in silence was known to me. When
I left him, the moon was quite high, under whose
golden blessing all the trees and birds hurried to
dream; it was exactly such a night on which
only two or three years ago I wrote the following
Across the song of night and moon,
Across the song of night and moon,
(O perfume of perfumes!)
My soul, as a wind
Whose heart's too full to sing.
Only roams astray . . .
Indeed, how I wandered that night, now thinking
of this poet, then on that Hokku poem ; I clearly
remember it was the very night that I felt fully
the beauty of the following impromptu in Holcku
Shall I knock
At Miidera Temple's gate?
Ah, moon of to-night!
Suppose you stand at that temple's gate high
upon the hill lapped and again lapped by the slow
water, with your dreamy face towards this Lake
Biwa in the shape of a biwa-lute, which, as a
certain poetess has written, "like a shell of white
lies dropped by the passing day." I am sure you
will feel yourself to be a god or goddess in the
beginning of the world as in the Japanese my-
thology, who by accident or mystery has risen
above the opalescent mists which softly cover the
earth of later night.
I did not forget to carry with me the Hokku
collection of Basho or Buson or some other poet
in my American life, even when I did the so-
called tramp life in 1896-1898 through the Cali-
fornia field full of buttercups, by the mountain
where the cypress tree beckoned my soul to fly,
not merely because the thought of home and
longing for it was then my only comfort, but
more because by the blessing of the book, I mean
the Hokku book, I entered straight into the great
heart of Nature ; when I left the Pacific Slope in
later years towards the Eastern cities built by the
modem civilization and machineries, I suddenly
thought I had lost the secret understanding of
the Hokku poems bom in Japan, insignificant like
a lakeside reed and irresponsible like a dragon-
fly; how could you properly understand, for
instance, the following Hokku poem in New
York of skyscrapers and automobiles:
A cloud of flowers!
Is it the bell of Uyeno
Or that of Asakusa?
The poet, by the way Basho, means the cloud of
flowers, of course, in Mukojima of Tokyo, whose
odorous profusion shuts out every prospect and
thought of geographical sense, of East or West;
listen to the bell ringing from the distance!
Does it come from the temple of Uyeno or
Asakusa? Why, it is the poem of a Spring
picture of the river Sumida.
In September of 1904, I returned home; the
tender silken autumnal rain that was Japanese
poetry, and my elder brother welcomed me (what
a ghost tired and pale I was then), and I was
taken to his house in the Nihonbashi district of
Tokyo to wash off my foreign dust and slowly
renew my old acquaintance with things Japanese.
Oh, that memorable first night after thirteen
years abroad! I spent it alone in the upstairs
room where I was left to sleep. I did not fall
asleep for many many hours on my floor in the
Japanese fashion; and my nostrils could not
make themselves free from a strange Japanese
smell, indeed the soy smell, which I thought was
crawling from the kitchen. As I said, the rain
dropped quite incessantly; the lamplight burned
feebly; and I was alone. Listen! What was
that I heard? Well, it was a cricket singing
under the roof or behind the hanging at the
tokonoma. I exclaimed then, "Was it possible
to hear the cricket in the very centre of the
metropolis?" My mind at once recalled th^
following Hokku poem by Issa:
Let me turn over,
Pray, go away,
Oh, my cricket!
My thought dwelt for a long while that night
upon Issa, the Hokku poet at the mountainside
of Shinshu, and his shabby hut "of clay and
wattles made" where he indeed lived with them ;
whenever I read him, the first thing to strike me
is his simple sympathy with a small living thing
like a butterfly or this cricket, that was in truth
the sure proof of his being a poet. Although I
had often read the above poem, I can say that I
never felt its humanity so keenly as that night.
When Mr. Aston published A History of Jap-
anese Literature quite many years ago, I know
that the part about Basho, the greatest Hokku
poet of the seventeenth century, and the Hokku
poems in general, did not make a proper impres-
sion on the Western mind. And here I have no
particular intention to force on your appreciation
with this Japanese form of poetry; I am here
only to express my own love for it. When we
say that the East is the same as the West, we
mean that the West is as different from the East
as the East is from the West; how could you
understand us through and through! Poetry is
the most difficult art ; it will lose the greater part
of its significance when parted from its back-
ground and the circumstances from which it
springs forth. I should like to ask who in the
West will be able to think the following Hokku
poem the greatest of its kind as we Japanese
On a withered twig, .
Lo, the crow is sitting there,
Oh, this Autumn eve!
Even to us, I confess, this solitariness of a Jap-
anese Autumn evening with the crow crying
monotonously on the tree is growing lately less
impressive, when in fact as today the crows be-
come scarce before the factories and smoke; and
our modem heterogeneous minds are beginning
to turn somewhere else.
I declare myself to be an adherent of this
Hokku poem in whose gem-small form of utter-
ance our Japanese poets were able to express
their understanding of Nature, better than that,
to sing or chant their longing or wonder or
adoration towards Mother Nature; to call the
Hokku poem suggestive is almost wrong, al-
though it has become a recent fashion for the
Western critics to interpret, not only this Hokku
but all Japanese poetry by that one word, because
the Hokku poem itself is distinctly clear-cut like
a diamond or star, never mystified by any cloud
or mist like Truth or Beauty of Keats' under-
standing. It is all very well if you have a
suggestive attitude of mind in reading it; I say
that the star itself has almost no share in the
creation of a condition even when your dream
or vision is gained through its beauty. I am
only pleased to know that the star had such an
influence upon you ; and I am willing to endorse
you when you say the Hokku poem is suggestive
in the same sense that truth and humanity are
suggestive. But I can say myself that your
poem would certainly end in artificiality if you
start out to be suggestive from the beginning;
I value the Hokku poem, at least some of them,
because of its own truth and humanity simple
and plain. Let me say for once and all there is
no word in so common use by Western critics
as suggestive, which makes more mischief than
enlightenment, although they mean it quite simp-
ly, of course, to be a new force or salvation; I
apologize to you for my digression when I say
that no critic is necessary for this world of
poetry. Who will criticise truth or humanity?
I always thought that the most beautiful flowers
grow close to the ground, and they need no hun-
dred petals for expressing their own beauty;
how can you call it real poetry if you cannot tell
it by a few words? Therefore these seventeen
syllables are just enough at least to our Japanese
mind. And if you cannot express all by one
Hokku, then you can say it in many Hokkus
yes, that is all.
Although I was quite loyal to this seventeen
syllable form of Japanese poetry during many
years of my foreign wandering, I had scarcely
any moment to write a Hokku in original Jap-
anese or English. To translate Hokku or any
other Japanese poem into English rarely does
justice to the original; it is a thankless task at
the best. What do you say, if there is one,
suppose, who brings down the spider-net and
attempts to hang it up in another place? Is it
not exactly the case with a translator of Japanese
poem, Hokku or Uta, whatever it be? To use
another expression, what would you say if some-
body ventured to imitate with someone's fountain
pen the Japanese picture drawn with the bamboo
brush and incensed Indian ink?
We confess that we have shown, to speak
rather bluntly, very little satisfaction even with
the translation of Professor Chamberlain and the
late Mr. Aston; when I say that I was amazed
at their literary audacity, I hope that my words
will never be taken as sarcasm. With due re-
spect, I dare say that nearly all things leave
something to be desired for our Japanese mind,
or to say more truly, have something too much
that we do not find in the original, as a result
they only weaken, confuse and trouble the real
During many years of my Western life, now
amid the California forest, then by the skyscrap-
ers of New York, again in the London 'bus, I
often tried to translate the Hokku of our old
masters. I had written the following in Eng-
My Love's lengthened hair
Swings o'er me from Heaven's gate:
Lo, Evening's shadow!
It was in London, to say more particularly, Hyde
Park, that I wrote the above Hokku in English,
where I walked slowly, my mind being filled with
the thought of the long hair of Rossetti's women
as I perhaps had visited Tate's Gallery that after-
noon; pray, believe me when I say the dusk that
descended from the sky swung like that length-
ened hair. I exclaimed then: "Thank God that
I have a moment to feel a Hokku feeling and
write about it in English." Let me wait patient-
ly for a moment to come when I become a Hokku
poet in my beloved English.
Here I beg to present you some English
Hokku poems I had written lately.
Some of these poems are written in
measure of seventeen syllables, and the
others are more free in forms. But the
Japanese Hokku spirit, I believe, runs
through all of them.
Suppose the stars
Fall and break? — Do they ever sound
Like my own love song?
A temple by the clouds.
Down march the days and the pains.
What hear I, brothers?
What is life? A voice,
A thought, a light on the dark,-
Lo, crow in the sky.
Some one at my door?
Go away, go, — go away!
Good night, sir or madam.
The seas sleep. The stars —
They are where? Oh my loneliness!
I gaze on my heart.
The fault shadow of the morning moon?
Nay, the snow falling on the earth.
The mist of blossoming flowers?
Nay, poetry smiling up the sky.
The far-away sky,
The white billow in distance,
And the expanse of Life and World,
Sudden pain of earth
I hear in the fallen leaf.
"Life's autumn," I cry.
To the night's rhythm, soft and sad.-
Ghost, art thou not tired?
Lift anchor, life-ship!
Love's red seas, white fancy-birds,
Behold! and the blue.
By a grass-made hut,
The winds pass on.
Saying something to the rice-plant leaves.
I am knocking at the door of Life, —
Is nobody in?
Birds flown away.
I wander in and out the Hall of Autumn.
Oh, canst thou hear
The love talk of the man-star
With the star- woman?
ts it that the banner blows?
Is what is blowing the wind?
Life? or death?
Child, neither the banner nor the wind blows :-
No life and death but in thy mind.
Phantom that is seen and dies!
Lord, how long hast thou
To spin the love-threads for dress ?-
The love-threads of rain.
Are the fallen stars
Returning up the sky?-
The dews on the grass.
Shadow! There's shadow!*
Heaven's shadow! Shadow! Shadow
Of my far-off thought!
Is it a fallen leaf?
That's my soul sailing on
The silence of Life.
Behold the sky where the cuckoo sung,-
There remains the morning moon.
Behold the world where Life cried, —
There remains poetry.
Let day pass,
"Let night break/'—
So the frogs sing morning and eve.
By the path of the breeze,
Love lone but happy sings and roams.
I gather the petals of thought,
Nursed by the slumber of peace.
Truth, like moon of day and night,
Ever perfect, all silent and gold,
Shed thy light over sorrow.
Make me regain my rest and song.
The voice falls like a dream,
Across the light of forgetfulness.
Eternity rolled in love,
Bids the visible world to sing.
Oh, my own self in the barge
Laden with the memory of mists,
Gliding down by the life-grey stream.
I, a moth with no sense of the day,
Dare not fly,
Lest the silence be marred.
A breeze forgotten by life,
Steps from thought to thought.
Oh, peace gained by hushed prayer!
The silence-leaves fallen from Life,
Older than dream or pain, —
Are they my passing ghost?
"Ghost of my soul," I shout,
"That cries only to curse me?"
Tip, tip, tip . . . thus the rain falls.-
Full of faults, you say.
What beauty in repentance!
Tears, songs . . . thus life flow8
Bits of song . . . what else?
I, a rider of the stream.
Lone between the clouds.
That's the way that the stars grow old,
Is it only that life has to pass away ?
Oh, monotonous song that makes me hate myself.
Song of sadness, song of fate !
Is it not the cry of a rose to be saved?
Oh, how could I,
When I, in fact, am the rose !
He has no time to think of others, he is an egoist
His enthusiasm turns to silence, —
He gains his own personality.
There's a moment the flower falls into false art,
It's where the poet into mannerism falls too.
It's accident to exist as a flower or a poet :
A mere twist of evolution but from the same
Song of sea in rain,
Voice of the sky, earth and men!
List, song of my heart.
But the march to life . . .
Break song to sing the new song !
Clouds leap, flowers bloom.
To become tree-man,
Oh, songs given back by the winds !
What joy of no-man.
I see no form but only beauty in evidence :
Oh, imagination and desire, makers of the life
To be the dancer is to make the singer sing.
Crawled? Whereto? I know nothing except
To hunt after the hidden love, —
A Hamlet across the night and pain.
Is it the pillar by which I reach the sky?
Is it the hill whereon I put my faith?
Is it eternity where songs may find their home?
The ancient song of my heart
Comes and goes in Life's light.
Sudden, a glow, a rainbow,
Draws its line across the breast of my soul.
Falle n leaves! Nay, spirits?
Shall I go downward with thee
By a stream of fate?
Lo, light and shadow
Journey to the home of night :
Thou and I — ^to love !
This way? or that way?
Where's the very street to Heaven?
What webs of streets!
Waking or sleeping?
Oh, "No-more" older than world !
Be 'way, earthly care !
Speak not again, Voice!
The silence washes off sins:
Come not again, Light!
The seas are passion-red,
The willows humanity-green.
Tis thy dream to make the rainbow sing,
To make a stone leap to the sky.
It is too late to hear a nightingale?
Tut, tut, tut, . . . some bird sings,-
That's quite enough, my friend.
Oh, to part now, does it mean that we shall
meet never again?
To have done forever with joy, thou and I,
Than to begin with pain again!
across u ^^^^^
The voice of the rockets —
Then the flash.
Is it not that of my soul bom to please the
To take pain of death in her keeping alone?
To face only the sky and forget the land,
Oh, to become a rider of the winds !
What a joy to find a greater song amid the
What is it? Is it
The great voice of Judgment Day?
Lo, pilgrim's of waves.
Where the flowers sleep,
Thank God! I shall sleep, to-night,
To my own tears with thy smile?
life to the arts shouts :
"Behold, ladies and gentlemen, the great equi-
Only accomplished once in a thousand times!"
I wish to be like a hurrying, rock-hurling moun-
Its double torrents by the road of love will meet
in the end.
I row across the expanse of sea,
And the far-away sky, —
I row across the white billows of pain.
The fickle waves of a strand do drench my
sleeves with sprays:
My songs cry only to make the stars sing.
The maple leaves on the mountain top would
wait for a king's train to pass once more,
Why will my life wait for my own song?
How sweet is to sleep!
Is there any more sweet word than good-night?
Like a cobweb hung upon the tree,
A prey to wind and sunlight!
Who will say that we are safe and strong?
To-day, at last to-day,
I grew to wish to raise
The chrysanthemum flowers.
Ah, how sublime. —
The green leaves, the young leaves.
In the light of the sun!
Lying ill on journey,
Ah, my dream
Run about the ruin of fields.
Slow passing days
Gathered, gathering, —
Alas, past far-away, distant!
Oh, How cool —
The sound of the bell
That leaves the bell itself.
Where's cherry blossom?
The trace of the garden's breeze is seen no more,
I will point, if I am asked.
To my fancy snow upon the ground.
O Matsu San and O Cho San sing well,
But O Hana San is the best to sing.
To-day I am alone with a flute
Upon the emptiness of the blue.
The nightingales under the boughs,
Sighing now white, now red,
Sing a pearl song
Over the greyness of earth.
The snow, like silent army, hurries to the
I, by the fireside, lonely watch the yellow hands
Uplifting as if in prayer.
I look around into the silence of the night.
I hide myself behind the biggest billow,-
Oh, what a delight !
How my poor doves search after me!
Farewell, I go to the sea
Where a hidden race chants toward the stars, —
Where the thirsty clouds dip in the oldest wine.
(From Ki no Tomonori)
'Tis the spring day
With lovely far-away light.
Why must the flowers fall
With hearts unquiet?
(From Oye no Chizato)
To gaze upon the moon
Is to be sad in a thousand ways.
Though all the autumns
Are not meant to be my own self's alone.
Is there anything new under the sun?
Certainly there is.
See how a bird flies, how flowers smile !
I sit by a charcoal brazier;
Silence in the wind without calms my thought.
I ask myself if the fire is not my own self.
What are the fire-sticks that mock, cheat, play
with and stir my soul?
Oh, fire-sticks of my imagination, handle it kind,
It will soon pass away, like the fire, into dust,
The sunlight of mom
Stq)s into my soul of dream, and says :
"What a wilderness art thou!"
With irony in look,
Poetry peeps into my heart.
"Doest thou carry a little intrigue on thy shoul-
ders?" I say.
Let me rise from life's dust,
And save myself from pains.
Who will come with me for an hour's carnival?
Creator of attitude and art,
Singer of life's intoxication, of youthfulness and
Oh, spring extravagant and proud!
Know I not at all who is within.
But from the heart of gratitude,
My tears fall,
Again my tears fall . . .
The wind shook her hair of gloom ;
The bleak sun flew down the way the sorrow
My soul swings
As if a willow lieaf.
Our thoughts and emotions are only the con-
tinuation of the thoughts and emotions of our
ancestors, which were often left hidden, unex-
pressed, happily for us, but always in existence,
like the touch of air; while our thoughts may
appear so sudden, f righteningly new, they have
somewhere a link, sure like the stars, if you have
eyes to see, with those of our progenitors. We
value what the ancestors expressed, because we
can read at the same time, what they left tmex-
pressed. I have no hesitation to say that the
poets who sing like Byron or that golden-tongued
Tennyson are admirable; but the good modem
poets, no particular names mentioned, are unique
at least on account of their inability (ability per-
haps) in singing. It takes much talent to de-
scribe the outward beauty, and, true to say, even
some original gift to appreciate it ; but your real
courage will be proved in your entire loss of
desire of outward things. One can be taught
by another how to see and understand the out-
ward beauty, but there's hardly any guidance in
the invisible matter, and you are your own guide,
alone in the world, in your change from the
visible to the spiritual. It is easy to change your
dress and hat according to the season and style;
but the outside attire, even the best kind, is of no
avail for your spiritual change. It is natural
course to enter the invisible from the visible, as
you step into night from day; but you must let
it come after having enough satisfaction of the
outward things. The mellow perfection of the
night only comes after all the splendour of the
As for me, I have no strong love with the
outward things, and always take a deep delight
in the little inward world — ^the largest world per-
haps — of my creation, and rarely sing the visible
beauty. Is it because I am philosophical? Per-
haps I am, without knowing it at all. Is it be-
cause I am somewhat logical? Perhaps I am,
although people (I included) do not notice it.
One thing I can say with much faith is that I
take a great energy to gain an assertion, and a
tireless persistence to be content with the invisible
things. You must fully imderstand the beauty of
Ufe, if you want to see the beauty of death; and
life will be more beautiful from the reason of
contrast with death. And death, again from the
contrast with life, will be more tender in pathos,
more subtle in rhythm. My song is always with
the falling leaves and the d3ring day.
I am not ready to say such is the poetry of
modem Japanese poets ; it is so at least with some
of them. And it is a mo^t striking contrast with
the material civilization of present Japan, which
was brought at once from the West ; the West,
strangely enough, sent us at the same time her
spiritual literature tmder the arbitrary name of
symbolism. Now, that symbolism is not a new
thing at all ; for us, it is a continuation, of course
with much modification, of our old thoughts and
emotions. It is interesting to note that it came
here when we were much criticized as material-
ists without capacity of understanding any spiri-
tual beauty. As somebody says, the real modem
civilization of Japan is nothing but the old civili-
zation which has changed its form ; and I say that
the true new literature is, indeed, the old litera-
ture, baptized in a Western temple. We have
led, for a thousand years, our insular lives; we
have been materially poor (many thanks for that
poverty), and then we found it quite easy to com-
mune with our minds. As the reality was never
so splendid, we were obliged to seek satisfaction
in dream; as we could not sing so well, we
learned the art how to sing in silence, the art
how to leave imsimg. Poetry was never a criti-
cism of life in Japan, as it was for one time in
the West; but it was the words of adoration and
love of nature and life. It is only the modem
note to make the most of literature and life; it is,
I dare say, from the hidden desire to value the
no-literature and death more than the literature
and life themselves.
We must lose our insularity, although it needs
a strength of consciousness; what we want is
intensiveness, the art of distillation of our
thought, which only comes from the true pride
and real economy of force. Universalism is of-
ten a weakness itself. We do not need, in our
Japanese literature, any long epic and song be-
cause they are touched more or less by pretension.
Our song is a potted tree of a thousand years*
growth; our song is a Japanese tea-hous<e — four
mats and a half in all — ^where we bum the rarest
incense which rises to the sky ; our song is an opal
with six colors that shine within.
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